National Simultaneous Storytime 2013

National Simultaneous Storytime is an important annual campaign that aims to encourage more young Australians to read and enjoy books. Now in its 13th successful year it is a colourful, vibrant and fun event that aims to promote the value of reading and literacy using an Australian children's book that explores age appropriate themes and addresses key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Grades 1 to 6.


About National Simultaneous Storytime

Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country.

By facilitating National Simultaneous Storytime we aim to;

  • promote the value of reading and literacy;
  • promote the value and fun of books;
  • promote an Australian writer and publisher;
  • promote storytime activities in public libraries and communities around the country;
  • provide opportunities to involve parents, grandparents, the media and others to participate in and enjoy the occasion.

NSS receives positive media coverage, generates a great deal of community interest and is held annually as part of Library and Information Week.

In 2012 over 380000 children at over 2000 locations across Australia took part in National Simultaneous Storytime, reading the book The Very Cranky Bear, written by Nick Bland and enjoying a range of supporting educational activities, songs, games, dress ups and lots of fun. Have a look at some of the highlights from our 2012 event.


Get involved

This year NSS takes place on Wednesday 22 May at 11am (AEDT) and we would love it if you could join us by sharing The Wrong Book by Nick Bland.

Everyone can join NSS - it doesn't matter whether you are a home school, a public library or even a University Library!

Register now to participate - it's free and we have some great activities and resources available to support your National Simultaneous Storytime event.

For more information about National Simultaneous Storytime contact ALIA's Events team.


About the book

We are delighted to announce that the 2013 National Simultaneous Storytime book is:

The Wrong Book

Written by: Nick Bland

Published by Scholastic Australia

ISBN 9781741693416

Nicholas Ickle is trying to tell a story, but he keeps getting interrupted by characters from other stories - a pirate, a queen, even some monsters! To get a chance to tell his story, he has to convince the others that they are in the wrong book.

Please visit your local bookseller to buy The Wrong Book or click here to order your copy.


About the author

Nick was born on a farm in Victoria's Yarra Valley in 1973. The son of an artist and a primary school teacher, he spent his early childhood climbing haystacks and making mischief in his father's studio. When he moved to 'the bush' at age 6, he discovered a wonderful new world and his creativity bloomed.

Nick always told family and friends he was going to be a cartoonist and a writer. It wasn't until 1996, when he stumbled into a bookshop job, that he finally found the medium that would bring those two loves together.

Untrained, he spent the next couple of years reading every picture book that hit the shelves and began honing his style as a storyteller and illustrator.

He illustrated several readers before sending 'A Monster Wrote Me a Letter' to Scholastic Australia in 2001.

He now lives in tropical Darwin where he has started works full time as an author illustrator. On weekends he works as a guardian for 120 aboriginal boys from around Northern Australia who are boarding in Darwin.

He loves both of his jobs and is able to combine them. 




  • CBCA Notable Picture Book of the Year for A Monster Wrote Me a Letter (2006)
  • Kids Own Australian Literature Awards (KOALA): Honour Picture book category: for The Wrong Book(2010)
  • Kids Own Australian Literature Awards (KOALA): Shortlisted Picture book category: for The Wrong Book(2010)
  • REAL Awards: shortlisted in Picture book category for The Wrong Book (2011)

Previous Publications:

  • Some Dads (2011)
  • The Runaway Hug (2011)
  • The Aunties Three (2011)
  • The Very Itchy Bear (2010)
  • The Wrong Book (2009)
  • Donald Loves Drumming (2008)
  • When Henry Caught Imaginitis (2008)
  • I've Lost My Kisses (2007)
  • Aussie Jingle Bells (2006)
  • A Monster Wrote Me a Letter (2005)



National Simultaneous Storytime 2013 is made possible by the generous support of our partners:



Click here to register your NSS participation.


Merchandise, resources and ideas for inspiration

We (with thanks to Nick Bland and Scholastic Australia) have made a number of resources available to support your National Simultaneous Storytime event.

All artwork, downloads and digital presentations are licensed for use only in conjunction with NSS events and activities. Please see the permissions from the publisher below for more information.



Print graphics – Flyer, Poster, Letterhead   

Web graphics –  Book Cover, Banner

Posters - Lets Read!



We have a range of bright and fun merchandise for the promotion of your NSS event.





All prices include GST and postage. Click here to order.

Please allow at least five working days (metropolitan areas) and ten working days (regional areas) for delivery. Orders placed after 8 May 2013 cannot be guaranteed to arrive in time for National Simultaneous Storytime.

Please visit your local bookseller to buy The Wrong Book or click here to order your copy.


Ideas for your event

Visit this page for some great ideas for songs, rhymes, activities and other stories to help support your NSS event.



Digital presentations of the book will be emailed to all registered participants Monday 20 May 2013.

Please note that digital presentations of the book will be available only until Friday 25 May 2013.


Permissions from the publisher

Scholastic Australia has given the following permissions for National Simultaneous Storytime 2013:

On all occasions the below permissions will only be limited to the date of the event and to publicity surrounding the event:

  • Permission for participating organisations to present a translation of the book during the event with the condition that the translation is not printed or distributed and is used for the event only
  • Permission for participating organisations to present a dramatisation of the book with the condition that the presentation occurs only in connection with the event
  • Permission for participating organisations to have an interpreter translate and read the book in another language with the condition that the presentation occurs only in connection with the event
  • Permission for participating organisations to use an image of the book cover for NSS 2013 promotion
  • Permission for participating organisation to use the digital presentations of the book provided by ALIA for NSS 2013 storytelling. Please note that digital presentations of the book will be available only until Friday 25 May 2013.

Text of the book can be used in the following ways:

  • Presented as a readers theatre
  • Presented as a story telling
  • Presented as a puppet show
  • Translated for multicultural storytimes
  • Inspiration for activity sheets and lesson plans

For any other use of the book in conjunction with National Simultaneous Storytime 2013 please contact ALIA's Events team.


Previous NSS events

The first National Simultaneous Storytime was held during Library and Information Week 2001. From 2002 - 2007 NSS took place during National Literacy and Numeracy Week.

In 2008, due to popular demand NSS returned to Library and Information Week with great success and continues to attract a wide audience from around Australia. 2012 was our most successful NSS to date with 380000 participants at over 2000 locations.


Wrap up

Please send us photos, videos and stories about your NSS activities, and don't forget to check back after the event to see some of the 2013 highlights from participants across Australia.